Sidor som bilder

Line 433. He lurch'd all swords o' the garland.] i. e. he gained from all other warriors the wreath of victory with ease, and incon testible superiority.

Line 442. every motion


Was tim'd with dying cries:] The cries of the slaughter'd regularly followed his motions, as music and a dancer accompany each other.

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JOHNSON. -] The gate that was made the JOHNSON.

Line 462. Than misery itself would give;] Misery for avarice; because a Miser signifies an Avaricious.

Line 473. It then remains,


That you do speak to the people.] Coriolanus was banished U. C. 262. But till the time of Manlius Torquatus, U. C. 393, the senate chose both the consuls: and then the people, assisted by the seditious temper of the tribunes, got the choice of one. But if he makes Rome a democracy; which at this time was a perfect aristocracy, he sets the balance even in his Timon, and turns Athens, which was a perfect democracy, into an aristocracy. But it would be unjust to attribute this entirely to his ignorance; it sometimes proceeded from the too powerful blaze of his imagination, which when once lighted up made all acquired knowledge fade and disappear before it. For sometimes again we find him, when occasion serves, not only writing up to the truth of history, but fitting his sentiments to the nicest manners of his peculiar subject, as well to the dignity of his characters, or the dictates of nature in general." WARBURTON.


Line 510. Once,] Once here means the same as when we say, once for all. WARBURTON,

Line 513. We have power in ourselves to do it, but it is a power that we have no power to do:] Power first signifies natural power or force, and then moral power or right. Davies has used the same word with great variety of meaning.

Use all thy powers that heavenly power to praise,
That gave thee power to do.--


Line 530. -if all our wits were to issue out of one scull, &c.] Meaning, though our having but one interest was most apparent, yet our wishes and projects would be infinitely discordant.


Line 637. I will not seal your knowledge-] I will not strengthen or complete your knowledge. The scal is that which gives authenticity to a writing. JOHNSON.

Line 644.this woolvish gown-] Signifies this rough

hirsute gown.

Line 720.


ignorant to see't?] Were you ignorant to see

it, is, did you want knowledge to discern it.

Line 749.

and unrestrained.


free contempt,] That is, with contempt open


Line 773. Enforce his pride,] Object his pride, and enforce the objection.

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The cantage of his anger.] Mark, catch, and improve the opportunity, which his hasty anger will afford us.



Line 32. prank them in authority,] Plume, deck, dignify


Line 53.


why rule you not their teeth?] The metaphor is from men's setting a bull-dog or mastiff upon any one. WARB.

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Each way, to better yours.] i. e. likely to provide better for the security of the commonwealth than you (whose business it is) will do. To which the reply is pertinent,

Why then should I be consul?

Line 85.

-This palt'ring


Becomes not Rome ;] That is, this trick of dissi

mulation, this shuffling.

Line 96.

-let them

Regard me as I do not flatter, and


Therein behold themselves:] Let them look in the


mirror which I hold up to them, a mirror which does not flatter, and see themselves. Line 100. The cockle of rebellion,] Cockle is a weed which

grows up with the corn. The thought is taken from sir Tho. North's translation of Plutarch, where it is given as follows: "Moreover, he said, that they nourished against themselves the naughty seed and cockle of insolency and sedition, which had "been sowed and scattered abroad among the people, &c."


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Line 127.


minnows?] i. e. Small fry. WARBURTON.

A minnow is one of the smallest river fish, called in some counties a pink. JOHNSON. Line 129. 'Twas from the canon.] Was contrary to the esta blished rule; it was a form of speech to which he has no right.


The horn and noise-] Alluding to his having

Line 135. called him Triton before.

Line 139.

Then vail your ignorance:] If this man has power, let the ignorance that gave it him vail or bow down before him.

JOHNSON. Line 149. and my soul aches,] The mischief and absurdity of what is called Imperium in imperio, is here finely expressed.


Line 172. They would not thread the gates:] That is, pass

them. We yet say, to thread an alley.

Line 178.



could never be the native-] Native for natural WARBURTON.

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Native is here not natural birth, but natural parent, or cause of


Line 180.

JOHNSON. this bosom multiplied -] This multitudinous

bosom; the bosom of that great monster, the people. MALONE. That love the fundamental part of state,

Line 205.

More than you doubt the change of't;] To doubt is to fear. The meaning is, You whose zeal predominates over your terrours; you who do not so much fear the danger of violent measures, as wish the good to which they are necessary, the preservation of the original constitution of our government.


Line 208. To jump a body-] To jump a body may mean, to put it into a violent agitation or commotion.


Line 212. Mangles true judgment,] Judgment is the faculty by which right is distinguished from wrong. JOHNSON.

Line 213. Of that integrity which should become it;] Integrity. is in this place soundness, uniformity, consistency, in the same sense as Dr. Warburton often uses it, when he mentions the integrity of a metaphor. To become, is to suit, to befit. JOHNSON.

Line 325. One time will owe another.] I know not whether to owe in this place means to possess by right, or to be indebted. Either sense may be admitted. One time, in which the people are seditious, will give us power in some other time: or, this time of the people's predominance will run them in debt: that is, will lay them open to the law, and expose them hereafter to more servile subjection. JOHNSON.

Line 334. Before the tag return?] The lowest and most despicable of the populace are still denominated by those a little above them, Tag, rag, and bobtail.


Line 370. Do not cry, havock, where you should but hunt With modest warrant.] i. e. Do not give the signal


for unlimited slaughter, &c. Line 408. This is clean kam.] i. e. Awry. So Cotgrave interprets Tout va à contrepoil. All goes clean kam. Hence a kambrel for a crooked stick, or the bend in a horse's hinder leg. WARB.

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Line 506. You are too absolute;

Though therein you can never be too noble,

But when extremities speak.] Except in cases of urgent necessity, when your resolute and noble spirit, however commendable at other times, ought to yield to the occasion.


Line 522. Why force you-] Why urge you. JOHNSON. 536.

-I am in this,

Your wife, your son, these senators, the nobles ; And you &c.] I think the meaning is, I am in their condition, I am at stake, together with your wife, your son. JOHNSON.

Line 538. - our general lowts-] Our common clowns.


Line 541. that want

-] The want of their loves...


544. Not what- -] In this place not seems to signify

not only.
Line 554.
thoroughly ripe,

Line 581.



humble, as the ripest mulberry,] This fruit, when
drops from the tree.
-my unbarb'd sconce?] The suppliants of the

people used to present themselves to them in sordid and neglected


STEEVENS. single plot-] i. e. piece, portion; applied

Line 585. to a piece of earth, and here elegantly transferred to the body,



Line 601. Which quired with my drum,] Which played in concert with my drum.

Line 604. Tent in my cheeks ;] To tent is to take

Line 610.

Line 615.

JOHNSON. up residence:


-to honour mine own truth,] Πάντων δὲ μάλις αισχύνει σαῦτον.. Pythagoras.



Thy mother rather feel thy pride, than fear

Thy dangerous stoutness;] Perhaps she means, "Go, do thy worst; let me rather feel the utmost extremity "that thy pride can bring upon us, than live thus in fear of "thy dangerous obstinacy."


Line 679.


-which looks

With us to break his neck.] To look is to wait or expect. The sense I believe is, What he has in his heart is waiting there to help us to break his neck.


Line 717. Rather than envy you.] Envy is here taken at large for malignity or ill intention.

JOHNSON. -season'd office,] All office established and settled by time, and made familiar to the people by long use.

Line 727.

Line 771. only.

JOHNSON. -not in the presence-] Not stands again for not JOHNSON.

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